FRANCE

250 PSG supporters arrested over violent protest

Reuters

Supporters of the Paris football club were blocking the Paris stadium entrances to protest the club’s new entrance rules. Some 250 supporters were arrested and nine were kept in police custody overnight on Saturday, police sources say.

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A spokesperson for the Paris Prefecture says the supporters were insulting and in some cases using violence against the spectators outside the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris before kick-off. The incidents occurred on the margins of a match between the Paris Saint-Germain and the French team Saint-Etienne on the first day of the Ligue 1 season.

Nine suspects were kept in police custody and are suspected of using violence.

The supporters reportedly belong to the Boulogne and Auteuil stands in the stadium. Authorities are trying to crack down on these rival groups of supporters after a string of violent incidents this year.

According to witness accounts, the police charged at the supporters and used pepper spray against groups of supporters.

Over 150 PSG supporters were banned from attending matches during the previous Ligue 1 season after 37-year-old PSG supporter died in rival group violence.

A long history of violence, racism and hooliganism has forced the club to review its stadium admission rules. Supporters can no longer choose their seats, seasonal tickets have been cut and families are now being encouraged to attend matches.

On Saturday evening, despite the violence and the protests, PSG went on to beat Saint-Etienne 3-1.
 

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